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Contractors Praise Elevation of Cyber to Combatant Command

Private-sector experts in cyber technology applauded the Trump administration's decision to elevate U.S. Cyber Command to a combatant command.

Among them was retired Navy Rear Adm. Bill Leigher, director of government cyber solutions at Raytheon Co., the world's largest missile-maker.

"Cyber warfighting has taken a key step toward becoming a mainstream tactical military capability" with the move, he said in a statement.

The new entity will become the 10th combatant command and make it easier to integrate "current keyboard-based tradecraft into cyber weapons systems that soldiers can be trained to use in the battlespace," Leigher added.

In announcing the move, President Donald Trump said, "This new unified combatant command will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation's defense."

Similarly, Kenneth Rapuano, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, said the decision "is a welcome and necessary one that ensures that the nation is best positioned to address the increasing threats in cyberspace."

Navy Adm. Mike Rogers will continue to wear two hats as the commander of Cyber Command, established in 2010, and as the director of the National Security Agency until the Senate confirms a nominee to head up the new combatant command.

The command has performed both defensive and offensive operations -- working to improve the security of Pentagon networks and also targeting the Islamic State's online infrastructure.

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